I had been looking for a good, traditional and authentic Peruvian restaurant for a long time. With most friends stating there wasn’t really any good in the GTA, I had lost all hope. Until one day, on a my way to a client meeting, I was in a cab in the corner of Bathurst and St. Clair West when I noticed a restaurant with a sign that said “El Plebeyo – Peruvian and Latin Cuisine”. As a foodie, once you see something good, you make note of it.
With less than a few weeks of finding this restaurant, I invited a friend of mine to go try it out. Both of us being Latin and knowing that there are rare authentic Latin eateries in Toronto, we walked in with much reserve but willing to give it a try. We were beyond words! El Plebeyo is by far the best Peruvian restaurant in the city. The place is typical Latin – small, with less than 10 tables and family friendly. The staff is very friendly and from what I hear the chefs are Peruvian born and raised, and as we experienced, so is the food!
Up front, the waitress told us that the dishes were rather large, so we decided to skip appetizers and we each ordered a dish from the rather long menu. El Plebeyo’s menu has everything from seafood (which is the Peruvian specialty) to meats, poultry and guisados (otherwise known as stews), so there is a ton for you to order.
I ordered my favourite (now that I have been there twice) – Plato Plebeyo. A traditional peruvian dish that is rich, succulent, tasty and made just perfectly.
Plato Plebeyo comes with grilled shrimp and salmon on a creamy white sauce. I could not decipher what the sauce was, but I am pretty sure it had white wine in it. The dish also comes with black beans on a cilantro and tomato sauce; and to top it all off, saffron rice (I guess you now know why I ordered it, in case you don’t, the answer is here). The rice is topped off with some really good, crunchy, salty and tasty french fries and asparagus. Lovely!
My friend and I always share what we order, so I got to taste his dish as well. He ordered the Lomo Salteado. I can’t remember the entire name from the menu, but it was the one that had the egg on top. Almost everything tastes better with egg, I think!
Lomo Salteado is another typical Peruvian dish. Now, I am not sure if this is how it’s traditionally plated in Peru; however I really don’t care as what matters is that it tastes phenomenal! Lomo means beef in Spanish, so this is stir fried beef with french fries, onions and tomato on what seems like a cilantro sauce; all topped off with an over easy egg. The Lomo is accompanied by white beans in its own sauce and white rice, both drizzled with some cilantro flakes. Why do you think Spanish people can drink? Because we have the heavy meals to prep the tummy with!
Overall, I love this little Peruvian hideout. I love how El Plebeyo presents its food. They seem like they take the time to ensure everything is plated well. I know that at times, with Latin food being usually heavy on ingredients, this can be hard. One thing I should warn you of is that they don’t have a wide wine selection; so if you want to pair your dish with a nice drink, I would recommend a beer or one of their featured Peruvian juices, they just go better with these kind of meals.